Favorite

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30 

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago. This time he gave a brilliantly executed performance of Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole." Hadelich performs with a minimum of flamboyance and with a remarkable purity of tone. Even when the orchestra's fortissimos might have overwhelmed a lesser soloist, his every nuance could be discerned.

What delighted this reviewer even more, however, was the sterling performance of the orchestra throughout the evening. Under music director Philip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony is no longer just a good provincial orchestra. It has become an outstanding regional ensemble.

The concert opened with Richard Strauss' tone poem "Don Juan." I have heard it played by major orchestras from Boston to San Francisco, but I have never heard a better reading. Certainly, Mann gave the work a personal interpretation. I may have found the brass a bit heavy, as was the percussion throughout the concert, but that is a matter in the conductor's domain. But in the Strauss the strings were beautifully coordinated, and the several rather difficult solos in it were flawless, as were the solos in later works.

The other piece on the program was one I had never heard before, Dohnanyi's "Suite in F-sharp minor." It is seldom performed, but seems to be seeing a renaissance. At least two major orchestras have programmed it for 2013. Written in 1909, it is a bridge from late romanticism to early modernism. Not great, but very pleasant to hear. The humorous Spanish segment in the final rondo was a neat foretaste of the Lalo to come. And in the Lalo, the orchestral dynamics were outstanding.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Edward Wooten

  • Review: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 'Beethoven and Blue Jeans'

    Wu Mann performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for the "Beethoven and Blue Jeans" concert.
    • Nov 12, 2012
  • Review: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's 'Ode to Joy'

    Last weekend's Arkansas Symphony concerts, featuring Beethoven's monumental Ninth Symphony, was extraordinary in that the mandatory "other work" on the program was Schoenberg's "A Survivor from Warsaw," with actor George Takei narrating and the River City Men's Chorus singing the Jewish Shema Israel.
    • Feb 29, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra: 'Legends'

    The featured work on the Arkansas Symphony's second Masterworks concert last Saturday evening was Brahms First Piano Concerto with Norman Krieger as soloist.
    • Oct 26, 2011
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Review: Gossip and Bonnie Montgomery

    Arkansas was well represented in New York last week as Bonnie Montgomery opened for Gossip at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both Montgomery and Gossip's Beth Ditto and Nathan Howdeshell hail from White County originally, and Bonnie still calls Little Rock home.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: James McMurtry at Revolution

    • "This may not sound like something Hendrix would have said — almost certainly isn't, let's…

    • on May 5, 2015
 

© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation